Uhlsport Somerset County League
Premier Division
Ilminster Town 1, Shirehampton 2

LETHAL marksman Scott Bamford made it 38 goals for the season with the decisive goal in Shirehampton’s 2-1 win at Ilminster Town on Saturday, writes Andy Fish.

The Blues had come from behind to equalise through Lee Sweet, but there was a controversial finish to the game as referee Ben Judd deemed Charlie Rutter to have handled amid a goalmouth scramble, and Bamford scored the spot-kick.

The teams cancelled each other out in the opening stages, the first shot coming in the 14th minute, when Charlie Rutter fired over for the hosts.

But six minutes later the away side were ahead, as a deep cross from the right was cleverly turned back across goal by Mark Johnson for his strike partner Jon Wheelor to net.

With strong winds making things difficult, the Blues’ only real chance of the first half came from Brad Pitman winning the ball in his own box, galloping forward and delivering a great pass into Taylor Jefferson, who ran through on goal but, with the angle narrowing, he hit the side netting.

Ilminster picked up the pace in the second half, with Sweet going close, and soon he made it 1-1.

Jefferson used his pace before releasing Sweet, who cut inside and found the bottom corner with a great strike.

The momentum now seemed to be with the home side, but Shirehampton began to dominate and forced their opponents back.

Andrew Male – in for the unavailable Chris May – made a fine save, but then came the disputed penalty, as both sides shouted for handball with arms and bodies everywhere in the goalmouth scramble; substitute Bamford made no mistake from the spot, even though Male got close to it.

With tempers almost at boiling point after that penalty, Ilminster made a strong break down the left, but when the ball went out of play Sweet reacted badly as he tried to get the ball back quickly.

A red card followed and with only 10 minutes remaining the Bristol side saw the game out.

The defeat was tough to take for Ilminster, who deserved a draw, but if you sit back and don’t take the match to the opposition there is a chance you will concede.

Doug Whitfield gave another rock steady performance and won the man of the match vote, sponsored by McQueen’s Clock and Watch Repair.

Ilminster: Andrew Male, Luke Paul, Josh Phillips, Doug Whitfield, Brad Miles, Brad Pitman, Ben Pitman,Will Spurway, Taylor Jefferson, Lee Sweet, Charlie Rutter. Subs (used): Karl Davies, Owen Burn.

This coming Saturday the Blues face Worle in their last home game of the season (ko 3pm).

Worle sit only one place above them in the table, having dropped out of the top six.